Meeting demand for plus-sized clothes
Rose Hendrickson Warren knows the agony of trying to find plus-sized clothing in Bermuda.
She’s been wearing larger sizes for most of her life.
Digging around for clothes in Bermuda, she found they were always either too pricey, not plus-sized at all, or too old-fashioned.
“Style is very important to the plus woman,” she said. “We may have extra curves but we still want to look good.”
So three years ago she started her own clothing shop, Can’t Touch This. Operating out of a building in her backyard she sells plus-sized and missy clothing from Los Angeles brands such as Orange Shine and Fashion Go. Prices range from $15 for leggings to $50 for dresses, with lots of $35 items in between.
Her leggings are particularly popular.
“People put them on and feel like they are not wearing any,” she said. “I do the capri pants for the summer and keep the long leggings in stock. My customers tell me they don’t see them anywhere else.”
She particularly loves wearing dresses from Zenana Premium.
“They put pockets in everything and their clothes are casual, but you can dress them up,” she said. “I tell people just because it has a spaghetti strap doesn’t mean you have to put it away for the winter. You can put a sweater on. Zenana Premium dresses are very comfortable.”
Mrs Warren markets mostly through Facebook.
“Before I started the business I had around 1,300 friends,” she said. “Now I have 1,700 friends, and 90 per cent of the new friends are customers.”
She’s opens at 10am during the week, but she’s had customers call her as late as 11.30pm asking to come and see her products.
The store name is a reference to both her favourite MC Hammer song, and the uniqueness of her products.
She first started using the name Can’t Touch This 20 years ago when she had a peddler’s licence.
“I brought in things that were different,” she said.
She doesn’t drive, so back then her husband, Andrew Warren would deliver purchases to customers by motorbike.
She opened You Can’t Touch This the store, after undergoing her third spinal surgery. Because the recovery time was three months, she lost her part-time job working in a store.
Her husband was working, but she wanted to have her own money.
A clothing store seemed a good choice, because she had prior experience working in such places, and she just plain loves clothes.
When she’s working with a client she always tries to be honest.
“If it doesn’t look right on them, I tell them,” she said. “And I am a giving person. If you buy so much, I will give you something free or give you a little discount.”
Her customers have reported they get tired of people asking: “Where’d you get that outfit?”
“They say, just go see Rose,” she said.
Now she loves spotting her outfits around town.
“I have a girlfriend who takes me, because I don’t drive,” she said. “We will walk and I will say that lady has on my dress, or look at my leggings, those are my leggings! I do recognise my clothes at a distance.”
She also sells “designer-inspired” handbags out of her store.
“I get a sense of independence from running the store,” she said. “I also just love making people happy.”
For more information, see her on Facebook under Rose Hendrickson Warren or call 236-2349